Sp1 is Involved in Vertebrate LC-PUFA Biosynthesis by Upregulating the Expression of Liver Desaturase and Elongase Genes


Li Y, Zhao J, Dong Y, Yin Z, Li Y, Liu Y, You C, Monroig Ó, Tocher DR & Wang S (2019) Sp1 is Involved in Vertebrate LC-PUFA Biosynthesis by Upregulating the Expression of Liver Desaturase and Elongase Genes. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20 (20), Art. No.: 5066.

The rabbitfish Siganus canaliculatus was the first marine teleost demonstrated to have the ability for the biosynthesis of long-chain (≥C20) polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) from C18 PUFA precursors, and all the catalytic enzymes including two fatty acyl desaturase 2 (Δ4 Fads2 and Δ6/Δ5 Fads2) and two elongases (Elovl4 and Elovl5) have been identified, providing a good model for studying the regulatory mechanisms of LC-PUFA biosynthesis in fish. Stimulatory protein 1 (Sp1) has been speculated to be a vital transcription factor in determining the promoter activity of Fads-like genes in fish, however its regulatory effects on gene expression and LC-PUFA biosynthesis have not been demonstrated. Bioinformatic analysis predicted potential Sp1 binding sites in the promoters of the rabbitfish Δ6/Δ5 fads2 and elovl5, but not in Δ4 fads2 promoter. Here we cloned full-length cDNA of the rabbitfish sp1 gene, which encoded a putative protein of 701 amino acids, and was expressed in all tissues studied with highest levels in gill and eyes. The dual luciferase reporter assay in HepG2 line cells demonstrated the importance of the Sp1 binding site for the promoter activities of both Δ6/Δ5 fads2 and elovl5. Moreover, the electrophoretic mobility shift assay confirmed the direct interaction of Sp1 with the two promoters. Insertion of the Sp1 binding site of Δ6/Δ5 fads2 promoter into the corresponding region of the Δ4 fads2 promoter significantly increased activity of the latter. In the Siganus canaliculatus hepatocyte line (SCHL) cells, mRNA levels of Δ6/Δ5 fads2 and elovl5 were positively correlated with the expression of sp1 when sp1 was overexpressed or knocked-down by RNAi or antagonist (mithramycin) treatment. Moreover, overexpression of sp1 also led to a higher conversion of 18:2n−6 to 18:3n−6, 18:2n−6 to 20:2n−6, and 18:3n−3 to 20:3n−3, which related to the functions of Δ6/Δ5 Fads2 and Elovl5, respectively. These results indicated that Sp1 is involved in the transcriptional regulation of LC-PUFA biosynthesis by directly targeting Δ6/Δ5 fads2 and elovl5 in rabbitfish, which is the first report of Sp1 involvement in the regulation of LC-PUFA biosynthesis in vertebrates.

Sp1; Δ6/Δ5 fads2; Δ4 fads2; elovl5; LC-PUFA biosynthesis; rabbitfish Siganus canaliculatus

International Journal of Molecular Sciences: Volume 20, Issue 20

Publication date12/10/2019
Publication date online12/10/2019
Date accepted by journal09/10/2019